Not everyone can afford the $1,000 plus cakes advertised in the bridal magazines. So how do you get a designer cake without the price? Check out the Cricut Cake machine by Provo Craft and consider designing your own cake. While this idea may not be feasible for everyone, those with a creative streak and a crafty side may enjoy the challenge of designing the cake of their dreams.
What is the Cricut Cake Machine?
The Cricut Cake Machine was launched January 2010 by the Provo Craft Company, who manufactures other craft products — including the widely popular Cricut machines used in scrapbooking and papercrafting. The Cricut Cake is a special food safe die cutting machine that works with all the regular Cricut scrapbooking cartridges and the six specially designed cake related cartridges currently available.
The machine can cut intricate patterns that replace the hours of painstaking piping and gum paste creations on many cake designs. Available cartridges include ones dedicated to illustrative designs, while others are solely font cartridges.
How to Decorate with the Cake Machine
Using the endless supply of cartridges available, you can design a traditional wedding cake or something completely unique and themed. There are also “licensed” cartridges available with your favorite Disney characters for those like myself who always dreamt of a Disney wedding, but could never afford to get married at Disneyland or Walt Disney World itself. Try your hand at making an engagement cake with Mickey and Minnie to keep the Disney theme present in your special day.
If you think the Cricut Cake machine is just for home designers, it might surprise you to learn the Cake machine is being used by a number of professional cake designers as well. When Provo Craft launched the machine, renowned wedding cake designer, Carrie Biggers, was on hand to assist with the launch. She also used the Cake Machine in her television appearance on TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off. Carrie has become a spokesperson for Provo Craft and is one of many professional cake designers who use the Cricut Cake in their business now. She has a set of DVD’s available for those who want to learn more about cake decorating with the Cake.
Cake decorating stores and some craft stores sell supplies like fondant sheets, but there are not a lot of colors available. Be advised, these sheets are not big enough to cover an entire cake and are used for cutting the design elements only, so you still have to roll fondant to cover your cake layers.
Is the Cricut Cake Right For You
Not everyone may benefit from the use of the Cricut Cake to design a wedding cake. The expense can be as much as some professionally designed cakes depending on the supplies and cartridges purchased. Those who already own a Cricut scrapbook cutting machine or have access to a library of cartridges may find it worth the money. Or those who are looking to break into cake decorating as a hobby or even a profession will definitely see a benefit from the initial investment.
Typically, the large Cricut Cake Machines can retail anywhere from $200 to $400 at numerous online and retail outlets. Michael’s Craft Stores recently discontinued carrying the Cake products and had the machines on sale as low as $49.99 if you can luck out and find stores with any left.
Jo-Ann’s Fabric and Craft Stores recently debuted a new exclusive Cake machine that is smaller and retails for $99.99. It does not handle the large 12 x 12 or 12 x 24 designs like the full-size machine. The Cricut Cake Mini cuts up to 6 x 12, which is probably perfect for many wedding cake designs and 1/4 of the cost of the full-size Cake machine. To compare the features of both machines, please see the Cricut website section on “Compare Cakes”.
Both the Cricut scrapbooking and Cake machines have a bit of a learning curve, so do not expect to purchase one and design your cake within a few days. However, if you are very creative, the whole process might end up being a breeze. If you decide to purchase a machine and cartridges with the intent of starting your own cake design business, be sure to check into local regulations on starting a food-related business and read Provo Craft’s policies on the inability of using licensed cartridges (i.e., Disney) for resale purposes.